Freeway Construction Work Zone Safety Enhancement ReportAbstract:
As part of PennDOT’s statewide effort to improve the safety of motorists and construction workers in freeway construction work zones, statewide observations and meetings were held to better understand current practices. Field observations were made during peak and off-peak traffic periods, under daylight and nighttime conditions and during periods of inclement weather. Individual reports were prepared for each project inspected indicating positive and innovative uses of traffic control devices as well as recommendations to revise existing procedures and enhance current guidelines based upon field conditions encountered.
The final report which was developed into a user friendly guide for both designers and field staff included sections on signing, delineation, channelizing devices, highway lighting, VMS and HAR operations as well as design guidelines, incident management and enforcement techniques. The final report included over 75 suggestions and recommendations to improve safety on freeway construction projects. Some of the recommendations included:
– Increased police protection
– Use of high concrete barrier and overhead illumination in crossover areas
– Paving and increased delineation of emergency pull-off areas
– Increased usage of no passing signage
– Increased longitudinal delineation
– Modified signing and delineation at exit ramps
– Recommendations for enhanced VMS and HAR messages
Since the inclusion of some of these recommendations on freeway construction workzone projects, accidents have decreased significantly statewide.